Last week I went to see an exhibition of paintings by the artist Maryam Hashemi at the Broadway Theatre. I first saw her recite some Ghazals with great passion and feeling, by the fourteenth Century Persian poet, Hafez at the event organised in his honour by Poet in the City on National Poetry Day. I have attended quite a few of their events in the past (I was at the Poetry Breakfast with Jo Shapcott that very morning) and this was one of their best.
Maryam Hashemi has a wonderful command of subject in her artwork, blending mythology with current every-day things that people of all ages can relate to in their own lives. I was particularly taken by the striking variety of colours. The strong projection of national heritage in her work is carefully constructed as well as sublimely universal and evokes an exceptional sense of place. Her paintings give a powerful message but they do so gently and with a remarkable clarity of vision. Do check out her website.